2 minute read
18 Jul 2014
12:15 pm

My life is in danger – Mr X

Police witness Mr X believes he will be killed by fellow mineworkers if he is released from police protection, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.

FILE PICTURE: Commissioner Ian Farlam at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on December 18, 2012, in Rustenburg, South Africa. The commission is investigating what led to the deaths of 46 people during an illegal wage strike by Lonmin mine workers. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe) .

“My life will be in danger because I have revealed everything we did at Marikana,” Mr X told the inquiry’s public hearings in Pretoria.

“I have said the truth in this commission about what we did. I am scared of the people whom I committed serious offences with in Marikana.”

Mr X may not be named to protect his identity. He is under police witness protection and is testifying at the commission via a video link from an undisclosed location.

He claims he was part of a group of striking Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, near Rustenburg, who participated in traditional rituals and the murders of Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani.

They were killed on August 12, 2012.

In a sworn statement to the commission, Mr X described how he and other protesters attacked and killed two policemen on August 13. He said they robbed the officers of their cellphones and service firearms.

The inquiry, which is led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana.

On Friday, Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, for the families of Lonmin miners who were killed, asked Mr X to explain why he chose to testify at the inquiry and why he had not been prosecuted for any of the crimes.

“In my experience spanning 30 years in the legal sector, I have met quite a number of people who were Mr Xs. I want to put it to you that people like you are usually giving evidence because they were promised something or they think they will get something,” said Ntsebeza.

“Are you one of those people? A person can involve themselves in very serious things thinking they will be getting money by saying lies.”

Mr X said he had not been promised anything.

Ntsebeza went on: “As evidence leader Geoff Budlender said, you put yourself in Marikana instances where there is evidence to show that you were not involved. I am also going to say that at the end.”

Mr X said he was directly involved at the Marikana incidents.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, more than 70 were wounded, and another 250 were arrested on August 16, 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and two security guards, were killed.